Yankees placing veteran infielder on the injured list

josh donaldson, yankees
Sep 28, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) throws a ball to first base for an out against the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

During the Wednesday game, Yankees‘ Josh Donaldson injured his hamstring, and we now know he’ll likely be heading to the IL. The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner reported that Boone said Donaldson will be headed there, meaning that now we’ll see more DJ LeMahieu action at 3B. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a few games here with IKF manning the hot corner.  

Donaldson heading to the IL isn’t as much of a good thing as many fans will make it out to be. However, now the Yanks will have to make a corresponding move, which means Oswald Peraza will likely be getting the call-up back to the MLB roster. He’s been doing quite well to start this season in AAA, and it makes the most sense if he’s the guy they decide to bring up. 

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The Yankees haven’t seen the best from Josh Donaldson:

Losing JD is a big loss, even if he was struggling out of the gate offensively. He’s still an excellent defender, and I believe he wasn’t given enough of a chance to start this season with his new stance. He only has 17 PAs under his belt this year, and that is definitely too few to form an opinion over. Although, he certainly wasn’t lighting the stat sheet on fire with those 17 PAs. To begin this season, he posted a 28 wRC+, a -0.1 fWAR, and a .489 OPS. Now, he’ll be placed on the IL and will hopefully get back to a place where he feels confident in returning. 

Donaldson had the worst year of his career last season and needed to bounce back in a big way this year. He couldn’t get anything going with the bat, even though his defense was excellent all season. He posted career lows, his bat speed and timing were way off, and he was unable to read pitches as well as he had done in the past. Simply put, he was not the same player he was. Now, he’ll likely be sidelined for some time, and that is unfortunate for him. 

Any time there’s an injury, the Yanks have to figure out a new plan and tap into their depth. I’m not against Peraza coming up, he honestly shouldn’t have ever been sent down, but it does suck for JD. Fortunately, Peraza is on the 40-man, so it won’t really cost the Yankees anything, assuming that he is the guy they do decide to call up. Adding Peraza to the 26-man may honestly be what the team needs. 

It’s not like the Yankees are missing out on anything right now, as the season just began a week ago. However, adding Oswald could be a nice jolt of energy, and it could also mean that DJ would take over the 3B duties full-time. He’s already played some 2B and 1B this year, but if the team adds Peraza, it could mean that he or Volpe will play second base on days that Torres is DHing, or has off. 

Fortunately, the Donaldson news comes at the best time for injuries like his one. Any time a player has to deal with hamstring or oblique/calf issues, it’s better that it happens earlier in the year than later. Now, JD can take his time and allow it to properly heal. He shouldn’t be rushing it or trying to hurry back. He has plenty of time, and I imagine the organization will ensure he takes it slow.